A face mask is typically worn by medical personnel during medical procedures. It’s designed to avoid infections in staff and patients by capturing bacterial shed in mucous droplets and drool from the mouth and nose of the wearer, while filtering out other airborne pathogens and liquids in liquid drops.
Medical professionals are typically trained to use face masks while in the operating room. Medical assistants, nurse’s aides and doctors all use one type of face mask at some point during their careers. The purpose of the face mask is to prevent infection from spreading in the surgical setting and the face is often contaminated with blood or mucous, making it difficult for doctors to see if the patient is breathing properly.
As an alternative to traditional open air surgery, the surgical procedure is conducted under sterile conditions and the surgical site is usually covered with a surgical gown. During this time, the surgical area is closed off and the patient is sedated. As the surgical site is prepared, the face mask will be placed on the patient. This helps the surgeon to perform the surgical procedure, without having to worry about infection. When the face mask is removed, the surgical site can then be cleansed and prepped.
If you are using surgical equipment, such as scalpels and knives, you should remove the face mask prior to beginning your work. Before using any surgical instrument, check with your surgeon or doctor to make sure the face mask is securely attached to the mask and that it will not be easily dislodged during use. Before operating on the patient, take the time to read over your sterilization and cleaning instructions with your medical equipment supplier.
Once you have used your surgical equipment, check the face mask for damage, leakage and wear and tear. The face mask will need to be cleaned and disinfected by your medical equipment provider after each use. Before the face mask is removed, allow the skin on your face to dry. If you’ve had any cuts or bruises, clean and disinfect them immediately to avoid infections.
Following cleaning and disinfection, the face mask is ready to be used again. Clean the face mask with a damp cloth to remove any excess disinfectant. If you wear a disposable face mask while performing the surgical procedure, replace the disposable face mask after each use.